Unfortunately recently in Louisiana, we’ve had our fair share of hurricanes. My family lives in the Lafayette area which fortunately was spared from any major damage. While sadly in Houma, Lafourche, Cut-off, Terrebonne Parish, Orleans Parish, and Jefferson Parish weren’t so lucky. Now as tragic as it is we must rebuild after Hurricane Ida. For those of us looking to rebuild after Hurricane Ida consider using steel. Steel has strength and longevity. In coastal Florida, this is already very popular.
Now when you’re building a hurricane-resistant house the start is a robust frame. Cold-formed steel aka metal stud framing has the highest ratio of strength to weight. These buildings can be easily engineered to withstand category 5 hurricanes. Our first build is designed for 140 mph winds.
Why it’s better than wood?
#1, The Connection.
While I think it’s possible to build a wood category 5 resistant hurricane-proof house I don’t think it’s practical. You would need a large volume of wood making it more expensive than a steel frame. The connections are most robust in steel framing. You’re using a self-tapping metal screw instead of pneumatic driven nail.
#2 Higher an Engineer for your metal-framed house.
In Louisiana, you can build up to 3,500 sq without using a structural engineer. While this sounds good you miss out on critical analysis structural studies. Depending on the size of the building this can add $4,000-6,000 in upfront costs, but you get an engineer-stamped building plans to guarantee you can stand hurricane wind loads.
#3 Fire resistance and long-term consistent performance.
Steel is non-combustible, reducing the risk of fire to occupants, firefighters, and property owners. Unlike wood, a steel stud is resistant to rot, warping, splitting, cracking, and creep. You can expect metal studs to stay state indefinitely.
#4 Construction Timeframe
The materials for a wood-framed building will arrive on the job site as raw lumber. This necessitates a construction specialist devoting considerable time on the job site to cutting lumber and creating the building’s framework. When working with wood buildings, you’ll have to pay a lot of money for professional craftsmen to cut wood to size, frame, and drill holes for all of the electrical work. You will save a lot of time if you design a steel framework for your next company endeavor. Prefabricated steel building systems are fairly common, with the materials already fabricated and transported to the job site.